Former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has mostly maintained a private lifestyle since his sudden retirement from professional football.
The former No. 1 pick shared details surrounding his decision to step away from the NFL when he was just 29-years-old and on a path that would likely take him to the Hall of Fame.
Luck spoke with ESPN and finally shared why he left the game in the midst of his prime.
In a rare sit down with the media, Luck spoke with ESPN’s Seth Wickersham and said he did not simply retire because of the well-documented injuries he suffered during his playing days.
While the physical issues Luck endured certainly played a role, Luck revealed that the emotional toll also impacted him.
“To play quarterback, you’re not allowed to worry about anything except the task at hand,” Luck explained. “And that seeps into other areas of life. It’s not the healthiest way to live.”
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Luck hinted that his obsession to be an elite quarterback hurt some of the relationships in his personal life.
Wickersham also noted that Luck struggled to find out how to be the best leader for the team. Luck seemed to feel pressure to change his entire personality in order meet the expectations of being the leader in the locker room.
The four-time Pro Bowler began suffering from somewhat of an identity crisis.
“A lot. A lot. A LOT,” Luck said when asked how much he self-identified as a quarterback. “And I didn’t realize that until after the fact.”
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The high standards Luck held himself to translated well on the field as he quickly became on the league’s top young signal callers. However, the 2018 NFL Comeback Player of the Year failed to manage the pressure he personally felt as he endured more and more injuries during his football career.
Wickersham went on to explain that Luck even felt guilt when he was sidelined with an injury, because he felt he was letting everyone down.
Luck eventually learned how to express his concerns with those closest to him, including his wife Nicole. Luck suffered another injury prior to the start of the 2019 season and announced his retirement.
Outside the injury, things had begun to shift in Luck’s personal life. “He was not just a quarterback. In the offseason he and Nicole had married, and she was pregnant with Lucy,” Wickersham laid out. “He had responsibilities and promises beyond himself and the Colts. He was coming close to saying out loud what he had disclosed only to Nicole and a few others: that he wasn’t sure he wanted to do this anymore. Not could. Wanted. He had proved that he could play at a high level. He had received plenty of praise and criticism, enough to know that neither of those things matters.”
So, to preserve not only his physical health but his mental health too, Luck decided to retire.
Luck’s decision to walk away seemed sudden to fans and maybe even the Colts organization, but the quarterback certainly seemed to have thinking about it for quiet a while.
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